New housing standards better protect agricultural temporary foreign workers
January 11, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
When temporary foreign workers in Canada’s agriculture industry have safe and adequate housing, the agriculture industry can thrive.
The Government of Canada takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the rights and freedoms of temporary foreign workers are protected, including their right to safe and adequate housing. That is why today, the Government of Canada announced new measures to strengthen housing requirements for temporary foreign workers under the Primary Agriculture Stream, including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.
As of January 1, 2018, housing inspection reports submitted to the department must be less than eight months old and must indicate the maximum number of people that the housing can accommodate. Employers must also now provide proof that all issues listed in the housing inspection report have been fully addressed before they will be allowed to hire foreign workers.
The Government of Canada has already taken a number of steps to improve the conditions for foreign agricultural workers including conducting more on-site inspections to verify first-hand that the working and housing conditions of temporary foreign workers meet program requirements. The Government has also launched the Primary Agriculture Review which includes a National Housing Study with the goal of establishing a cohesive Temporary Foreign Worker Program housing standard across Canada.
“Our government takes seriously its responsibility to protect the health and safety of temporary foreign workers. These new housing measures will help to ensure that temporary foreign workers in the agriculture industry have safe and adequate housing while working in Canada.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
In April 2017, the Government of Canada set out a path forward plan for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that included commitments to protect the rights of foreign workers in Canada.
The Government is currently undertaking a review of the Primary Agriculture Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as part of the path forward plan.
Employment and Social Development Canada recently provided more than $93,000 to the Migrant Workers’ Dignity Association to help migrant workers become better informed about their rights as workers in Canada.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
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